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HSBC launches £1 billion fund to support West Midlands SMEs…

Submitted by on April 25, 2016 – 6:00 am |

Martin Hanson, HSBC’s Regional Head of Business Banking in the MidlandsHSBC has today launched a £1 billion lending fund to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the West Midlands, as part of a broader commitment to make banking cheaper and simpler for customers.

The £1 billion fund is the largest package of support to be announced by HSBC for SMEs in the West Midlands, and includes a £500 million package in Birmingham. It has been introduced to meet growing demand from West Midlands SMEs, and is a significant increase from the £850 million fund allocated to the region in 2015.

HSBC’s 2016 SME Fund and broader package of support for West Midlands SMEs includes:

  • A £1 billion fund available for West Midlands SMEs
  • A free banking offer of up to 18 months for start-ups and 12 months for switchers
  • The introduction of year-long fixed-price £5.50 monthly account tariff, to commence at the end of a customer’s initial free banking period
  • Changes that will make banking cheaper for our customers: a reduction in the Personal Guarantee Fee from £80 to £10 for any lending facility above £10,000
  • The launch of the Business Lending Eligibility Checker (BLEC) – an online tool offering potential new customers a credit decision in principle for loans of up to £30,000 in under two minutes
  • A free text alert service for informal overdrafts, which will help customers avoid paying informal overdraft fees and interest.

Martin Hanson, HSBC’s Regional Director for Business Banking in the West Midlands, said: “We want to be the bank of choice for West Midlands SMEs, reinforced through our desire to lend more to local businesses, by committing the funds to do so, and by making banking easier and cheaper to help our customers grow.  There is a strong desire from ambitious local SMEs to grow their businesses, and we are responding by ensuring HSBC is providing the funds they need to realise these ambitions.”

HSBC’s Head of UK Commercial Banking, Ian Stuart, said: “Right across the UK there is a wide range of innovative new and established SMEs, proving that location is no barrier to a great business idea.  SMEs are the driving force of the UK economy and we are here to support them, whether they are a start-up or established business, focused either on the domestic market or looking to trade internationally.  This fund underpins our support by putting SMEs in a stronger position to be making investments that will stimulate local economies and create more jobs.”

Small Business Minister, Anna Soubry has encouraged small businesses to capitalise on the services being offered by lenders to support their growth.

“We have a record number of small businesses driving our growing economy and while the picture is improving, access to finance remains an issue for many of them. It’s absolutely right that banks such as HSBC continue to develop their support for smaller businesses. I also want to see more of these businesses taking advantage of what’s on offer, both from banks and alternative lenders, to help them grow, invest and create jobs for people.”

HSBC supporting UK SMEs

  • Supporting UK Businesses: HSBC supports over 1 million businesses in the UK
  • Lending approval rate: Most established and credit worthy SMEs that apply are getting finance – we continue to approve over 89% of lending applications and our credit appetite has remained consistent
  • Account Openings: 7,484: the average number of SMEs who opened accounts with HSBC monthly in 2015. 89,804: the total number of SMEs who opened an account with HSBC in 2015
  • SME Lending:  We are serious about lending more to British business – in 2015 gross new lending for SME loans was up 34 per cent YOY
  • SME Fund: HSBC has launched a £10bn lending fund, allocated regionally across the UK
  • Applications: HSBC has made it easier to access finance with businesses able to use the Business Lending Eligibility Checker for an in-principle decision before proceeding to HSBC LinkScreen to complete a loan application exclusively online.  The LinkScreen tool has cut lending application times in half, with 94 per cent of customers very satisfied since it launched

HSBC has also recently launched the Entrepreneurs Exchange in partnership with 40 of the UK’s most successful business founders and the Government. The series of events, happening across the UK on May 18 2016, will give entrepreneurs who want to grow their business a chance to be inspired, gain practical advice and build vital networks with other entrepreneurs.

In the West Midlands, designer Anya Hindmarch, MBE, and Charlotte Tilbury, British make-up artist will share their insights at The Council House, Birmingham. Visit for more information.

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